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In June, I attended the Disability Connections Expo in Sydney. I was an exhibitor for my microbusiness Autie Talk, which offers peer mentoring to autistic teens and adults, and professional development programs to service providers.
Supporting me during these two very busy days was Kate, an independent support worker on Mable.
How my support worker helped
In short, Kate was outstanding.
I have a voice disability which means that after a while, I lose my voice and cannot project it very loudly.
To support me at the expo, Kate ensured she had studied the training material I sent to her before her support session. That way, she could engage well with the visitors at my booth and assist me when I couldn’t talk.
Kate consistently looked for opportunities during the expo to promote my services to the visitors and other exhibitors. She was sincere about assisting me in having a successful time at the expo.
For example, Kate’s background as a social worker and her lived experience with cystic fibrosis means she is able to relate to the struggles and ups and downs of chronic illness and disability.
As a client, having support workers like Kate to assist with community activities, particularly self-employment activities, is such a relief. It means I can achieve my goals and feel confident to take more opportunities and receive the support I need.
Tips on finding a support worker on Mable
I highly recommend doing a meet and greet.
I did a meet and greet with Kate over the phone. You can also do it over a video call if meeting in person doesn’t suit you.
During meet and greets, I like to get a sense of a person, their personality and a little bit about their life and what they enjoy.
For me, spending time with someone who is friendly is as important as their skills.
For me, it’s important to find a support worker who shares my values. I want to know that they are really interested in supporting me.
What I liked about Kate is her professional background as a social worker. She also is focused on workplace ethics, which is important to me.
If you are involving your support worker in your microbusiness, give them an idea of what your business is all about and see how they respond. If they ask questions and indicate enthusiasm and support, this is a good sign.
I have shared some more tips to find the support worker that suits your needs.
When we find the right support worker, it’s a win-win situation where both individuals are provided opportunities to learn and grow.
Independent support workers on Mable can support you in many different ways.
Whether it’s community participation, domestic support, academic support or professional support, you can find the individual support you need.
Sign up for free on Mable today.
Kory Sherland is a life and work strategy coach and peer mentor to neurodivergent teens and adults and a consultant to service providers. She is currently studying a Master of Autism degree and plans to become a Developmental Educator upon graduation. You can connect with Kory via her website.